What is the SLPP cooking for 2012 ?

Published on August 18, 2010 by Cocorioko News   ·   10 Comments


Anybody who has been  following up the  commentaries and analyses  in Sierra Leone’s online and print newspapers can definitely agree with those fearing  that the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party ( SLPP ) is not planning to accept defeat in the  Presidential and Legislative Elections in 2012.

Just read the SLPP  newspapers and listen to the comments of the main cast of the SLPP Propaganda machinery online and around the nation.You can hear it distinctly .You can see what they are getting at in your mind’s eye.  The  SLPP is  not only desperate to return to power in 2012 but  nothing other than victory for them will be accepted by the party when the elections results are announced .As a consequence of this  resolve,  if they get beaten fairly in 2012 they will not accept the defeat. For the SLPP, it is victory in 2012 or nothing, fair or foul . That is why they have started off by trying to destroy the credibility of the UN Secretary General ‘s Special Representative in Sierra Leone, Mr. Michael Von Shullenberg, the  UN itself and the internationally -respected Elections Commissioner, Dr. Christiana Thorpe. The SLPP is cunningly disguising its plan by pretending that come what may the Sierra Leonean people will vote them back to power in 2012. They know the people won’t.

 If what the SLPP is manifesting is  hope , especially hope built on  reality  , it would not have been a matter of  concern. After all, there is nothing wrong with being optimistic and  all parties have a right to  dream of winning . Also,  Sierra Leone belongs to all Sierra Leoneans .There is nothing wrong with the SLPP winning an election in Sierra Leone. If the people of Sierra Leone decide that the SLPP is the party they want in power, there is nothing wrong with that. Power belongs to the people.However , something is troubling about the way the SLPP is talking about returning to power in 2012. They are not manifesting hope. They are saying : “We will win, and we better do “. There is an unmistakable  arrogance , cynicism and petulance in the way pro-SLPP newspapers and party actors speak that gives  a clear indication that , come 2012,  the SLPP will not be hoping to win the elections  through the votes of the electorate. They know they are not going to win. If President Koroma maintains his pace of bringing developments to the country and those ministers that are underperforming are fired or they  buck up and discover their rightful places in the jigsaw of governance , President Koroma will earn a second term from the people of Sierra Leone. President Koroma, in the face of all the mounting problems associated with governance in a post-war country he inherited battered and destroyed , has not performed in any way that will make him only a one term President. The people of Sierra Leone may be complaining about some problems here and there but they are reasonable. If they continue to see that President Koroma has a genuine desire to change the country for the better, despite their complaints they will vote on the side of caution and give preference to a President who is showing  results than an angel from a failed party that was in power for 11 years and have nothing to show by way of socio-economic developments for their years in control . Thus , the SLPP  knows that they do not have the ability or capacity to beat President Koroma in 2012.

What any sensible person can see is that the SLPP is planning to return to power  through a familiar route —through a carefully planned and contrived plot to provoke spectacular chaos in the country that will prompt the intervention of the International Community  . With the International Community desiring  to see peace in Sierra Leone , the SLPP  believes that the comity of nations will advocate for a coalition government to break any impasse they might create , or if they get carried away by the SLPP subterfuge, the International Community might promote a regime change.  Sierra Leeoneans must not forget. SLPP partisans are not only bad losers . They have that deceptive and  cunning knack to create chaos, exploit it to generate sympathy and deflect blame for whatever chaos they wreck to the opposing side.

Take a close look at 1967. But for the valiant efforts of gallant soldiers like Majors Charles Blake, S.B. Jumu and Bockarie Kai-Samba , the SLPP  would have  cunningly subverted the verdict of the people of Sierra Leone . Realizing that the All People’s Congress  ( APC ) , led by the then heavyweights Siaka Stevens, S.I. Koroma, C.A. Camara-Taylor, Ibrahim Bash-Taqi , Mohamed Bash-Taqi, Bangalie Mansaray, S.A.T Koroma, S.I Kanu   etc.etc. had clearly won the General Elections , the SLPP  cleverly connived with the Force Commander of the Sierra Leone Army, Brig. David Lansana , to seize power . The excuse they cleverly tried to make the army use was that tribal passions had become so uncontrollable that the soldiers , the so-called  custodians of the state, were compelled to take control of the country to stop her from plunging into Civil War. You know that in those days because Sierra Leoneans had not tasted war, there was nothing they feared  more than war.The average Sierra Leonean would run home and hide under his bed at the sound of a gun.  The people  would have been taken in to Brig. Lansana’s lies that he took over to save the country from going to war.

This coup would have then  benefitted the SLPP in many ways. Firstly, it would have prevented their nemesis, the APC, from deservingly coming to power. Secondly, because Brig. Lansana was the brother-in-law of the Prime Minister ,Sir Albert Margai, a puppet army government that owed its allegiance to the SLPP  would have held on to power during which time it would have framed and  incarcerated all the key players of the APC or executed them as the other pro-SLPP military junta, the NPRC , did to Bambay Kamara, Kawuta Dumbuya, Salami Coker and others. Then it would have called for fresh elections which the SLPP  would have then easily won and returned to power.That was the SLPP’s script in 1967 , but thankfully, the young majors smelt the rat and moved swiftly to stage a counter-coup against Lansana even before he started executing the plan.

Take another close look at another year , 1992. The SLPP succeeded this time.  SLPP operatives John Benjamin, Maada Bio , Tom Nyuma, S. A. J Musa, Komba Kambo and others instigated a military coup against the then APC Government led by the late President Joseph Momoh. They preferred not to wait for the ballot box, even though the former President had impressively laid the groundwork for a return to multi-party democracy, with political parties being formed and over 100 newspapers operating in the country. They used the excuse that the government was not prosecuting the war against the rebels and had in fact failed to provide them arms and logistics. As soon as the army took over, SLPP print dresses with the photos of Sir Milton Margai and the SLPP emblem started to be sold all over the country.  It was a sign that the next goovernment after the soldiers would be the SLPP. The NPRC Coup was a pro-SLPP  coup. That was why the soldiers framed and executed top APC operatives like Bambay Kamara and others. As we have now seen, most of the major players in the army putsch that sent the old APC Government packing are now key SLPP  functionaries and two of them–Maada Bio (Who overthrew the substantive coup-leader Valentine Strasser because he was not going according to the script ) and  John Benjamin are going to vie for the Presidency under the SLPP banner ( Don’t be fooled by Benjamin’s denials: It is all a political gimmick  ) . As Head of State ,Maada Bio contrived to rig the 1996 General Elections on behalf of the SLPP, cheating the octogenarian politician, Dr. John Karefa-Smart ,who was the real winner, and handing power to SLPP’s Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

Any sensible person who studies 1967, 1992 and 1996  well will not need anybody  to expose how the SLPP plans to return to power in 2012. All the foolish and asanine claims in pro-SLPP  newspapers that President Koroma is only outdooring SLPP projects; all the silly complaints that Christiana Thorpe cheated the SLPP in the 2007 elections ( Though the international community and international elections obsevers and Sierra Leoneans saw it differently as perhaps the best and  most free and fair elections ever staged in Africa ) ; all the failed attempts to provoke President Koroma to react to  all the undeserved defamation  and character-assassination as well as prying into his marriage  so that when he takes action  he will be demonized; all the crazy slogans about Sharp 12 2012 back to power ; all the insane  claims about Christiana Thorpe not being accepted to serve a second time as Elections Commissioner; all those unproved allegations about APC activists raping women at SLPP party headquarters, all the propaganda, all the ‘waving of the bloody shirt’ and false complaints about thuggery and nonsensical accusations all  have a common design—To fracture, disunite, outrage, confuse and polarise the society in preparation for 2012 , when after President Koroma would have beaten their candidate, the SLPP will refuse to accept defeat , stir public disorder , loot and burn cities , kill innocent people  and force the international community to intervene.  Because of new concepts in the International Community , like R2P (Responsibility of states to protect people within their borders ) ,the SLPP  knows that when they accomplish their goal to create chaos, bedlam and mayhem , with attendant killings of innocent people, the government will come in for chastening from the International Community. The International Community will accuse the government that it did not protect the people. This will be to the liking of the SLPP,who will then exploit it to force a government of national unity that they will further exploit to eventually return to power.

This is why some of us are kindly appealing to the government not to overreact to any provocation from the opposition . It is all a plan to provoke the government to act so that when it does the SLPP  provocateurs can turn around and say to the people with cynical alacrity : “Didn’t we tell you so ? Didn’t we say they were undemocratic and dictatorial ? Are these the people you want to vote back in power in 2012 ? ”. The government must go all out to avoid playing itself into  the hands of the devious game plan of the SLPP.  In life, we must learn to ignore our detractors. WHEN WE DON’T, WE PROVIDE THEM A PLATFORM TO TAKE CHARGE, ENJOY THE SPOTLIGHT AND DICTATE PROCEEDINGS.

 The government must always have at the back of its mind that the SLPP has the International Community  in its plans. They are doing this because they know how the International Community reasons today in its determination to see peace and stability in failed states.Sierra Leoneans know that President Koroma is doing a splendid job. Hardly anybody leaves the diaspora to visit Sierra Leone without returning with some good news about developments going on in the country. The economic problems , which you find anywhere you go on the globe , are there but one thing that visitors to Sierra Leone will not fail to tell you is that President Koroma is springing many impressive developments in the country. Now there is light in the capital. Cleaning crews have turned Freetown into one of the cleanest cities in West Africa. President Koroma’s road construction projects are turning Sierra Leone into a modern state. The government has kickstarted mining activities in the country and jobs will soon be available for thousands of people, including youths. The government must pay attention to the good work it is doing and leave the opposition to its own wiles. Nothing the opposition is writing or saying about President Koroma will count if the government continues to seek the welfare of the people and performs better than the SLPP  did the last time it was in power. As President Koroma said in Moyamba at the weekend, his achievements will bear witness for him during the 2012 elections. And if this is the case, victory is certain in 2012.The plans and schemes of the SLPP  will come to nought.

PHOTO : SLPP partisans : What is the party cooking for 2012 ?

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